News and Events of Panchagarh in 2003

Jun 24, 2003 – Seminar in Panchagarh on Plantation – UNB

A seminar on ‘plantation and care of fruit-bearing, timber and medicinal trees’ was held at the district administration auditorium here on Saturday. District Agriculture Extension Department organized the seminar to encourage the people for tree plantation to save environment and meet the demand of environmental needs.

May 12, 2003 – Bangladesh could import tea – BBC

Bangladesh is increasing tea production. Tea exports from Bangladesh are falling because there is so much demand for tea at home. Officials say that this could turn the world’s fifth largest tea exporter into a tea importer. “Internal consumption is rising by 3.5% annually against nearly 1% rise in production,” SAHM Tauhid, chairman of the Bangladesh Tea Board (BTB), told Reuters news agency. “If this trend continues, Bangladesh may become a tea importing country by 2015.”

Competition at auctions – The BTB said that domestic consumption and exports had fallen slightly during the year to March, compared with the previous 12 months, but the trend was clear. “Whatever be the fluctuations, overall exports are falling against rising internal consumption over the years,” Mohammad Idris, a director of leading tea exporter HRC Syndicate, told Reuters. BTB records show that tea exports have fallen 49.6% over the past 10 years while internal consumption has risen 38.4%. The higher demand for tea within Bangladesh has triggered stiff competition at weekly auctions with local buyers often outbidding export and foreign buyers.

Doubling production – Bangladesh exported 13.7 million kg of tea in 2002 compared with 27.2 million kg in 1992. The value of tea exports has fallen from $33.26m in 1991-2 to $16.47m in the past financial year. Internal consumption shot up to 22.7 million kg during the year to March 2003, against 16.4 million kg in the 1992-93 seasons. Bangladesh produces about 55 million kg of tea a year on 119,000 hectares (297,500 acres) of land, mostly owned by private companies. There are plans to increase production by developing about 65,000 hectares (162,500 acres) of hilly land in the south-eastern Chittagong Hill Tracts and northern Panchagarh districts. The aim is to double tea production by 2022.

Apr 30, 2003 – India Bangladesh border clash, border relations are tense – BBC

Indian and Bangladeshi border guards have exchanged heavy fire along a disputed stretch of frontier. A company commander of the Indian Border Security Force (BSF) was injured in the clash, as was a soldier from the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR). Firing broke out after Indian troops blocked Bangladeshi farmers from land which both sides claim.  The incident comes as senior BSF and BDR officials are meeting in the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka, to discuss border tensions.

Assault rifles  BSF spokesman PP Gupta told the BBC that firing had started when Bangladeshi farmers tried to cross a canal, backed by BDR forces. Mr Gupta said the BDR had fired first and the BSF had retaliated. A local Bangladeshi official said more than 100 shots had been fired in the exchange, which took place at Tetulia in Panchagarh district.  He said no civilians had been hurt, and the wounded soldier had been taken to hospital. The Bangladeshi farmers had been cultivating the disputed land for years, the official said.

Alarm  Reports say both sides used assault rifles and light machine guns in the two-hour clash. Locals, many of them labourers on a nearby tea estate, are said to have panicked on hearing the shots. Correspondents say the incident underlines how tense the situation is between the two border forces. Relations began to worsen earlier this year when Indian border guards tried to push back hundreds of people who they said were illegal migrants from Bangladesh – a move resisted by the BDR.

Apr 2, 2003 – 36 development projects executed in Panchagarh – The Independent

A total of 36 development projects have been taken up in five upazilas of the district at a cost of Tk 1.80 crore. Local Government Engineering Department will implement the projects under its Rural Roads Renovation and Maintenance Project. The projects include renovation of 24 roads and 12 culverts. Besides work on six madrashas is progressing fast in the district involving Tk 63.29 lakh. LGED is implementing the project under its Selected Madrasha Development Project.

January 18, 2003 – Rape and Killing of a Christian School Girl in Panchagarh – HRCBM

Panchagarh, Bangladesh Correspondent: A Christian school student has been raped and killed in Panchagarh. It happened yesterday morning, Friday (17 January 2003), in Kalikapur Christian Village of Atwari Upazilla (Sub-district). According to Police sources, a seventh grade student, Parbati Das, daughter of Bimal Das of Kalikapur village, went to bed in her own room after dinner on Thursday night. On Friday morning, not finding her in her own room, the family members of Parbati after an extensive search found her wounded and naked dead body in the near by wheat field.

It is being perceived that the miscreants abducted her at night, took her to the near by wheat filed, raped her and then severely stabbed at different places on her body to death. Police arrested Manoranjan Das and Ratan Das after a case was filed at Atwari Police Station. The dead body of Parbati has been sent to Panchgarh Hospital morgue for autopsy.

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